St. James Council OKs bond refinancing

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 26, 2014

By Monique Roth

VACHERIE – The St. James Parish Council held a public meeting last week and approved a resolution to refinance up to $8 million in revenue bonds. The bonds, issued in 2008, were used to construct St. James Parish Hospital in Lutcher.

Mary Ellen Pratt, CEO of the hospital, told the board that refinancing the bonds would

save the hospital close to $4 million and reduce the terms of the bonds from 25 years to 15 years.

Also at the meeting, Assistant Director of Operations Blaise Gravois reported to the council that the informational meetings for residents regarding the comprehensive master plan were complete, and the next step would be the council approving the plan and creating an ordinance making the plan law.

The established plan would serve as the guideline for all those wishing to secure building permits in St. James Parish.

Public hearings on the master plan will be held in both Vacherie and Convent, and attorney Victor J. Franckiewicz Jr. estimated the council could possibly adopt an ordinance making the master plan law in early April.

In other news, Chairman Gerald Falgoust gave the Coastal Zone Management Commission Annual Report, Sam Stines gave a mosquito control update and Director Tommy Scott presented the Workforce Investment Agency Annual Report.

Also at the meeting, Kelse Alexander, Rache’l Oatis, Colby Kraemer, Maya Tureaud amd Colin Berthelot were appointed to serve as representatives of the newly created St. James Youth Commission.

In additional personnel news, the council voted at the meeting to reappoint Wilbur Reynaud to the Hospital Board and to appoint Kelse Alexander as a District 6 representative to the Keep

St. James Beautiful Board.